Six months of training came down to three hours yesterday. I MADE IT!!! I’m getting teary just writing this post. I finished my first half marathon and it was a labor of love I tell ya. Here are a few conclusions that I have made about this experience.
What I like about the training: the gradual progression. Every week I stepped it up a bit in miles. Some weeks were better than others but that is to be expected.
What changed for me: how disciplined I was. Last year I went running whenever I thought about it. This race was different. I missed only a few workouts and only because there was no way to get it in. I was focused this time. And I stuck with my goals from the beginning for the most part.
What I learned: A few things.
1. I learned who my real friends are. There were quite a few people who knew my goal. Not only did they neglect to even ask how I was doing but some of them downplayed it a bit (“you betta hope you don’t pass out”).
2. If you don’t train well the running will suffer. This is true for anything in life.
3. Shit happens. Races can start late, traffic can slow you down, you can get injured, your husband can come home late and you can’t get your workout in, the kids need to be driven to and from on a training day, you can be utterly exhausted some days, you need better shoes or a running bra and your budget won’t allow it, etc. etc. etc. I can’t let disappointment deter me.
4. Water is the secret ingredient for building your stamina. Cramping is a common issue for me. Well I had an answer for that this time. I hydrated like crazy last week. 100+ ounces of water or Gatorade every day for about 5 days. And it worked!!! From the time we took off to the time I crossed the finish line I felt no cramping. Soreness from the hills is another story.
The best part of the Zooma Half Marathon: the sites. Annapolis is a beautiful setting. I love it there. I loved running by the water and down Main Street and through the neighborhoods. I got a really good look at the government buildings (the House of Delegates, Senate, Lawyer’s Mall?, and the Governor’s mansion). Those historic buildings with that fantastic architecture are so solid. Clearly they were built to last. I must get back there for lunch or dinner.
The worst part of the Zooma Half Marathon: the heat and the hills. UGGGGH!!!! I just about died out there. I walked a lot unfortunately because I just couldn’t take the repeated hills. I wasn’t able to prepare for the heat thanks to all this up and down bipolar weather we’ve been having lately. By the time I got home I was totally spent and I could barely walk right. Also, the course was mapped out wrong so everyone’s official distance was about .25 miles short of the full 13.1. Oh well. If I had to go longer I would have grudgingly so I’m claiming the distance regardless.
Will I run another half marathon (like the Diva half in September that I already paid for)? Maybe. I am not so sure after this race if half marathons are for me. I like the 10 mile distances but after that I get a little lost.
But for now I can put this baby to bed. It is finished. I might run the Baltimore 10 Miler in a couple of week. I might just chill and just run during the week. My cousin has convinced me to do this mud run in July. At 10 am. Does insanity run in our family? Maybe not but fierceness does. And I can mark June 1st as the day that this fierce Urban Bushwoman turned “Never” into “DONE”.